The Liberty men's tennis squad (10-6, 3-0 BSC) takes to the road this weekend for a pair of Big South bouts. Liberty squares off against UNC Asheville tomorrow at 2 p.m. at the Asheville Racquet Club before traveling to Boiling Springs, N.C. on Saturday at 11 a.m. to compete against Gardner-Webb at the GWU Tennis Courts.
Liberty is coming off of a strong weekend, defeating the Big South preseason top two squads in Coastal Carolina and Presbyterian. The Flames bested the Chanticleers, 4-3 after rallying from down 3-1. Egon Samaai delivered the match-clinching singles victory to down Coastal Carolina.
The following day, Liberty knocked off Presbyterian by the same score of 4-3. The Flames surrendered a 3-1 lead this time, as the Blue Hose charged back to tie the match at 3-3 with one final singles showdown left. Once again, Samaai delivered the match-clinching victory for the red and blue. Down 5-3 in the third set, the South Africa native surged ahead, winning four straight games to claim the 7-5 victory to solidify the match at 4-3 in favor of Liberty. Samaai's efforts were good enough to garner Big South Player of the Week and ECAC Player of the Week honors, to go along with aiding the Flames in the program's first-ever 3-0 start in conference play.
The Bulldogs enter tomorrow's match with a 9-4 overall mark and a conference record of 1-2. UNC Asheville has dropped three of the last four matches, including the Bulldogs' most recent loss to Radford, 4-3, yesterday at the Asheville Racquet Club. Liberty is 10-13 all-time against UNC Asheville on the tennis courts. In the Flames' most recent bout with the Bulldogs, Liberty defeated the conference foe by a score of 5-2 on March 31, 2014 in Lynchburg, Va.
Gardner-Webb squares off against the Flames with a 7-9 overall record, including a Big South mark of 1-3. The Runnin' Bulldogs have won two of their last six matches, including their most recent victory over Limestone, 7-0 at the GWU Tennis Courts. Liberty is 7-7 all-time in program history against Gardner-Webb on the tennis courts. On March 30, 2014 the Runnin' Bulldogs tied the series at seven after defeating the Flames by a score of 5-2 in Lynchburg, Va.
Following this weekend's matches, the Flames will return to action on Tuesday when they take on Campbell at 2 p.m. at the Hershey-Esbenshade Tennis Courts.
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